Last Thursday (April 28th) there was a memorial service for Tim Corum at First Baptist Church. It was one of the most meaningful and difficult services I have ever been a part of. I began by acknowledging two truths that were a reality in the room that night.
Truth #1: The church was filled with people asking why, searching for answers that would most likely never come. Many of us had spent the last few days saying “If only…”. If only I had reached out to Tim, if only I had tried to help him more. The reality is that there are rarely answers to these type of questions…the truth is life is often difficult and hard. We all recognize and understand the truth that there are seasons of life which are simply painful. Nowhere in scripture does God promise even the most faithful or spiritual of us an easy, pain free life…there will be seasons where we are left asking these difficult questions.
Truth #2: In the midst of these most difficult times God does promise to always walk with us. While scripture never promise an easy life it is filled with promises of God’s presence in the midst of turmoil. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” “My peace I give you…a peace that passes all understanding.” Scriptures are filled with passages that talk of the Spirit of God walking beside, behind, before us as we journey through life.
We then lit a candle recognizing that we were not gathered alone, the Spirit of God was there with us…to guide us in our time of mourning as we celebrated Tim’s life. It was a special night.
As the service came to a close I felt a twinge in my shoulder and it felt like I had pulled a muscle. It had been a stressful week. One of my friends joked, “Nancy needs to give you a shoulder massage tonight.”
Friday morning I awoke with pain all down my right side and it was hard to take a deep breath. Again, the previous week had been busy…it was time to relax and let my body heal. As the day progressed the pain worsened. During the day Nancy and I went to the drugstore and I purchased a new heating pad in hopes of helping make things better. Later in the day I started having trouble breathing. I could not get a full breath of air. The pain in my shoulder started to move down my right side. It felt like the pain you get when you cough too much and pull a muscle in your chest.
Friday night was Rayann’s prom and I watched Nancy take her and a few friends off for a great evening. [Rayann looked absolutely beautiful…almost to good to let out of the house] By the time the party was over at 3:00 am on Saturday it was clear I was not getting any better and it was time to head to the ER.
Saturday morning was a lot of tests…more tests…more tests…more tests…more tests, you get the idea. Eventually they chose to give me a room and we started a whole new group of tests…more tests…more tests, on and on. I do want to say that the staff on 2 West at the Chester County Hospital was amazing. It is odd how you go in a patient and leave with people you can call friend.
Tuesday afternoon Nancy and I met with one of the doctors who told us that I have Colon Cancer which has spread into my Liver. It was not the news we were wanting to hear…but something we had talked about earlier the longer the testing went on.
Today [Wednesday] I was released from the hospital. We stopped by the church on the way home to take care of a few things which needed done. [yes, I am taking care of myself. part of helping me recover means I will need to stay busy…I can not simply sit at home]
Tomorrow [Thursday] I return to the hospital to have a port put in which will be where I receive future treatments.
Friday I am meeting with my oncologist so we can make plans and take steps toward starting Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy will start shortly and will take place every other week.
Laying in my hospital bed throughout the day and in the dark of night my mind would often return to the start of Tim Corum’s memorial service. I reflected long and hard on those two truths I shared with the congregation that night. The “Why’s?” spoke loud and hard through the night and in the early mornings. It was comforting to know that no matter what the days, weeks, months & years ahead hold for me and my family we will not walk it alone. We have the support of loved ones, both family and friends. Ultimately it is the Spirit of God who goes beside, behind and before us and will offer His peace which passes all understanding.